PIT – NYR Fallout: Brassard line with Rust shines, Crosby line under 35% in possession


Penguins lose out on getting 2 pts, Rust-Brassard-Kessel show early chemistry PIT GAME LEADERS Bryan Rust | Goal (11), 5 SOG, 62 CF% Carl Hagelin | Goal (9), 2 SOG Riley Sheahan | Goal (10), 55 CF% Derrick Brassard | Assist, 3 SOG, 61 CF% The Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers Wednesday night that saw the Rangers outscore Pittsburgh 4-1 over the final 14 minutes of the game, was nothing more than Pittsburgh letting their foot off the gas and playing down to their competition in the third period. Pittsburgh blew leads of 2-0 and 3-2 in the third period. In the big picture when it comes to which opponents are the best matchups, it doesn’t really matter for the Penguins on where they finish in the Metropolitan Division as there’s no real separation between Philadelphia, Columbus or New Jersey, Pittsburgh’s most likely first roundRead More »

Why Conor Sheary’s play on top-line will likely to be tied to whether Rust-Brassard-Kessel can stay together


Penguins to feature ideal third line vs Rangers After Conor Sheary’s breakout game vs the Flyers last Wednesday night, it brought into the question of whether the Penguins best lineup is playing Sheary on the top line to strengthen the lines elsewhere as players like Bryan Rust can have an impact anywhere you play them while Sheary’s play drops considerably when not playing with Sidney Crosby. With Rust set to return tonight vs the New York Rangers, the coaches are at least going to go in that direction in the short-term by still keeping Sheary on the top line. This should benefit Derick Brassard and Phil Kessel starting tonight. The two have been okay together and the Penguins new third line has been lacking an ideal left winger to fit their styles and to add a dimension those two need. Bryan Rust has stood out as a perfect fit toRead More »

Blueprint of a 3-Peat on display for Penguins in win vs Stars


Penguins show blueprint vs Stars of why 3-Peat Chances remain high PIT GAME LEADERS Patric Hornqvist | Goal (20), 7 SOG Jamie Oleksiak | Goal (5), 6 Hits Evgeni Malkin | Goal (39, ENG), Assist Sidney Crosby | 2 Assists Casey DeSmith | 17 Saves Tyler Seguin and the Dallas Stars came to town Sunday night with the Penguins on the second night of a back-to-back and Pittsburgh starting Casey DeSmith in goal. This should have been a night that favored Dallas, except the Penguins went out and played suffocating defense, limiting the Stars to 18 shots in a Penguins 3-1 win. “I thought that’s a team that has some dynamic people offensively. To limit them to the shots they had and number of chances they had is not an easy task. Top to bottom our team defense was as good as we’ve been all year,” Penguins head coach MikeRead More »

Pens – Leafs Fallout; PIT heavy in d-man college free agent market; Hurricanes GM Search Buzz


All of the fuss after Penguins 5-2 loss to the Maple Leafs centered around goaltender interference after a Brian Dumoulin second period goal was waved off and resulted in Dumoulin somehow getting a 2-minute minor for interference that went from Pittsburgh being down 3-1 (if the goal stood) to 4-0 moments later as the Maple Leafs scored a power play marker on the Dumoulin penalty. It was insane that the Dumoulin goal was disallowed but the Penguins didn’t lose because the goal didn’t stand. Pittsburgh was already in a 3-0 hole at the time of the Dumoulin controversy. This was just a classic game where a skilled Maple Leafs team finished their chances and Pittsburgh didn’t. The Penguins top-3 lines were all 57% or better in driving possession during the loss. The 4th line of Kuhnhackl – Jooris – Rowney was at 37%. — An opportunistic team, Toronto did aRead More »

Latest Pens Buzz: Sheary’s breakout Night; Upside of Oleksiak-Schultz pairing; Ron Francis PIT Bound?


Key Takeaways from the Penguins 5-2 win over the Flyers Entering Wednesday night’s game vs the Philadelphia Flyers, Conor Sheary had 0 goals and 4 assists in his previous 15 games. Sheary’s performance Monday night vs the Flames was about as rock bottom as it could get The 4th line when Sheary and Tom Kuhnhackl on the ice together was pretty much unplayable for the Penguins as Pittsburgh was out-attempted 13-0 in the first period when Sheary/Kuhnhackl were on the ice. Conor Sheary vs the Calgary Flames (3/5): 0 Points | 27% possession (7:19 of ice 5-on-5), 30 SCF% | 0 GF – 2 GA | While Tom Kunhackl continued to be dead weight last night vs the Flyers, Sheary finally had a breakthrough game and no surprise, it happened when reunited with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel due to a Bryan Rust upper body injury early in the game.Read More »

OT wins increasing lead in key in tiebreaker for Penguins, Malkin’s MVP Candidacy & More Buzz


Overtime Wins Increasing Penguins lead in key tiebreaker The Pittsburgh Penguins dominance in overtime on home-ice continued Monday night as a Justin Schultz OT goal lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames. Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Chad Ruhwedel also scored in the win. Tristan Jarry made 35 saves in a highly entertaining up and down game filled with lots of offense and lots of defensive zone breakdowns. In posting back-to-back overtime wins, Pittsburgh now has nine wins this season in overtime and closing games in overtime could be crucial to tiebreakers in playoff seeding. The Penguins are now two up on the Capitals in Regulation + Overtime wins and four up on the Flyers in ROW. Washington (65 GP – 81 points – ROW 34) Pittsburgh (67 GP – 80 Pts – ROW 36) Philadelphia (66 GP – 79 Pts – ROW 32) PittsburghRead More »

True Barometer of the Penguins: Somewhere in-between the October-December Penguins & Great 6 week stretch


The Pittsburgh Penguins in the midst of a three game losing streak, have reverted back to their ways from December where defensively the play away from the puck has been as bad as it gets. The 8-4 loss to the Boston Bruins Thursday night highlighted all of it where Pittsburgh constantly had 3-4 players caught on one side, a ton of puck watching that was followed by terrible goaltending. Quite a few of the Penguins lower tier players were victimized in the loss. Carter Rowney who is playing nowhere near an NHL level player, was on the ice for 5 goals against in 5:45 of ice time through two periods. On the ice for 5 goals against in under six minutes of ice is about as impossible as it gets but it happened against the Bruins for Rowney. Jamie Oleksiak was also on the ice for 5 goals against inRead More »

Examining the Penguins cap situation for next season with the new Hornqvist deal, Brassard acquisition


Penguins Salary Cap Situation Not Dire for Next Season The new contract for Patric Hornqvist and the addition of Derick Brassard has added $8.3 million against the cap for next season. Among the 16 players listed below, players currently on 1-way contracts or identified as full-time NHLers, Pittsburgh has approximately $69.3 million committed against the cap. Forwards (8) | 1-way Contracts or Full-Time NHL Players Evgeni Malkin – $9.5 million Sidney Crosby – $8.7 million Phil Kessel – $6.8 million Patric Hornqvist – $5.3 million Carl Hagelin – $4 million Derick Brassard – $3 million Conor Sheary – $3 million Jake Guentzel – $734,167 Notable RFA’s: Bryan Rust, Riley Sheahan Defensemen (6) | 1 Way Contracts Kris Letang – $7.25 million Justin Schultz – $5.5 million Brian Dumoulin – $4.1 million Olli Maatta – $4.083 million Matt Hunwick – $2.25 million Chad Ruhwedel – $650,000 Notable RFA’s: Jamie Oleksiak GoaltendersRead More »

Penguins – Devils Fallout: Questions linger with winger situation


Devils 3 – Penguins 2 PIT LEADERS Casey DeSmith | 35 Saves, .921 SV% Sidney Crosby | Goal, 7 SOG, 71.5 CF% Jake Guentzel | 2 Assists, 3 SOG, 68 CF% Bryan Rust | +1, 75 CF% Matt Hunwick | Goal, 3 SOG, 40 CF% —Some key developments from the Penguins 3-2 loss against the Devils Tuesday night — — This was a huge win for the Devils (33-22-8, 74 pts). It was one of those four point swing games where the Devils are now two points behind the Penguins (36-24-4, 76 pts) for third in the division with a game in hand. Like Pittsburgh with their No. 1 goaltender also injured, New Jersey continues to look the part of being a playoff team. Led by Taylor Hall who should be in the Hart Trophy discussion, New Jersey showed a fast counter attack game and punished the Penguins in gettingRead More »

Post-Trade Deadline Fallout: Hornqvist, Sheary, Sprong & Goaltending Situation


League Chatter: Hornqvist gets fair market deal 1. Feedback around the league on Patric Hornqvist’s 5 year, $26.5 million extension is that Hornqvist got a very good deal for himself. This extension was all about the Penguins going five years. The Penguins have known for a while that any deal below five years in term wasn’t going to keep Hornqvist from hitting the open market. Around January when numbers were starting to get exchanged, the Hornqvist camp according to a source was seeking a 5 year, $27.5 million contract from Pittsburgh. The final deal is 5 years, $26.5 million. I know there’s some saying Hornqvist left money on the table, but a few executives, scouts I heard from don’t think Hornqvist would have got much better of a deal from another contender and a place he actually wanted to play. Hornqvist turns 32 next season, plays a rugged style andRead More »